... the rest is behind paywall at Jane's:
The United States’ new National Defense Strategy (NDS) continues the Pentagon’s push, which began a few years ago, to focus more on peer military threats after more than a decade focusing on terrorism and counter-insurgency.
- The NDS codifies a recent push to focus more on peer military threats
- It directs investments in space, cyberspace, nuclear forces, missile defence, autonomous systems, and better logistics
“Great power competition, not terrorism, is now the primary focus of US national security,” Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said during a 19 January speech unveiling the NDS.
The NDS is a more defence-focused outcropping of the National Security Strategy (NSS), and Mattis echoed that document, saying the US faces “growing threats from revisionist powers as different as China and Russia, nations that seek to create a world consistent with their authoritarian models”.
He mentioned “rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran” as a focus, as well as “violent extremist organisations like Lebanese Hezbollah, [the Islamic State group], and Al Qaeda”.
Specifically, Mattis said the NDS prioritises investments “in space and cyberspace, nuclear deterrent forces, missile defence, advanced autonomous systems, and resilient and agile logistics”.
He noted, however, that the strategy cannot survive “without necessary funding”, and added that “as hard as the last 16 years of war have been, no enemy in the field has done more to harm the readiness of the US military than the combined impact of the  Budget Control Act's defence spending cuts, worsened by us operating in nine of the last 10 years under Continuing Resolution [budgets].”
As he unveiled the NDS, the federal government was about 14 hours away from shutting down because Congress and White House appeared unable to even pass another Continuing Resolution budget, meaning funding would expire and the Pentagon – along with the rest of the government – would largely cease regular functions.
for now Shutdown over: Congress reaches deal to restart government operations
I love how expensive 5" naval guns are LOL!The US Navy has ordered four additional Mk 45 naval guns to be delivered by BAE Systems under a $46.8 million contract option.
The contract modification calls for upgrading existing guns to the Mod 4 configuration to increase the firepower and extend the range of the weapons.
According to BAE Systems, this modification to the initial 10-gun contract brings the full value of the award to $176.8 million for the 14 guns.
The Mk 45 is a 5-inch fully automatic naval gun in use by the US Navy and other allied navies. Updates to the Mod 4 configuration include a structurally strengthened gun mount and more advanced electronics.
With its stronger mount, the gun can achieve 50 percent higher firing energy, allowing munitions or projectiles to travel faster and farther, BAE Systems says. Its new fully digitized control system also provides significantly greater computing power and features a touch-screen user interface.
“The Mk 45 is the industry standard for large caliber naval guns, and the Mod 4 updates make the system easier to integrate onto the ship and more adaptable to advanced munitions,” said Joseph Senftle, vice president and general manager of Weapon Systems at BAE Systems.
Work on the Mk 45 Mod 4 conversions will be performed at the BAE Systems’ facility in Louisville, Kentucky, with support from the company’s supplier base, and is expected to be complete by 2021.
believe it or not, a single Mk 45 would cost up to fifty (50) mil (this assumes just one copy would be procured), and I know it's hard to believe: the newest Abrams tank would be fifteen (15) max I guess ...
OTO is cheaper, but still, recently the Indian Navy order thirteen (13) for 260 mil (the deal was canceled for a reason other than technical, I figured) ... I think the guns come with life-time warranty (not sure if it covers a combat loss ROFL) and barrels replaced for free
comes Report to Congress on Columbia-class Submarine ProgramThursday at 10:25 PM
related is GAO Report on Columbia-Class Ballistic Missile Submarine Technology Maturity
From the report:
Additional development and testing are required to demonstrate the maturity of several Columbia class submarine technologies that are critical to performance, including the Integrated Power System, nuclear reactor, common missile compartment, and propulsor and related coordinated stern technologies (see figure). As a result, it is unknown at this point whether they will work as expected, be delayed, or cost more than planned. Any unexpected delays could postpone the deployment of the lead submarine past the 2031 deadline.
Further, the Navy underrepresented the program’s technology risks in its 2015 Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) when it did not identify these technologies as critical. Development of these technologies is key to meeting cost, schedule, and performance requirements. A reliable TRA serves as the basis for realistic discussions on how to mitigate risks as programs move forward from the early stages of technology development. Not identifying these technologies as critical means Congress may not have had the full picture of the technology risks and their potential effect on cost, schedule, and performance goals as increasing financial commitments were made. The Navy is not required to provide Congress with an update on the program’s progress, including its technology development efforts, until fiscal year 2020—when $8.7 billion for lead ship construction will have already been authorized. Periodic reporting on technology development efforts in the interim could provide decision makers assurances about the remaining technical risks as the Navy asks for increasing levels of funding.
Consistent with GAO’s identified best practices, the Navy intends to complete much of the submarine’s overall design prior to starting construction to reduce the risk of cost and schedule growth. However, the Navy recently awarded a contract for detail design while critical technologies remain unproven—a practice not in line with best practices that has led to cost growth and schedule delays on other programs. Proceeding into detail design and construction with immature technologies can lead to design instability and cause construction delays. The Navy plans to accelerate construction of the lead submarine to compensate for an aggressive schedule, which may lead to future delays if the technologies are not fully mature before construction starts, planned for 2021.
USAF needs Reagan-level dollars for penetrating counterair platform
- 21 NOVEMBER, 2017
- SOURCE: FLIGHTGLOBAL.COM
- BY: LEIGH GIANGRECO
- WASHINGTON DC
The US Air Force will need to replicate funding levels not seen since President Ronald Reagan's military spending build-up in the early 1980s in order to make its next-generation air dominance (NGAD) concept a reality, the head of Air Combat Command says this week.
The service has a solid grasp of what it would take to guarantee control of the air after finishing its 2030 air superiority study last spring, which assessed its limitations against future airpower threats. What the USAF is still struggling with is where to find the dollars to fund its next ambitious acquisition programme.
“I don’t see a shortcut to doing it,” Gen Mike Holmes says. “Whatever path you choose, to go after maintaining that air superiority option, it’s going to cost about the same as it did 30 years ago.”
While the superiority study proposed a family of systems rather than one central fighter like the Lockheed Martin F-35, the core of the NGAD concept appears to rely on a penetrating counterair platform.
The study’s author, Brig Gen Alexus Grynkewich, has been careful to stay away from an “F” designation for PCA, instead emphasizing a capacity for range, persistence and lethality that will vary from contemporary fighters designed for 20th-century warfare tactics.
“We believe you have to go fight the enemy in their airspace if you want to make air superiority work,” Holmes says. “Certainly we think we’re going to pursue counterair, we’re going to pursue suppression and destruction of enemy air defenses, we’re going to have to pursue an electronic warfare component of that.”
The USAF must also figure out how to afford all those capabilities while the service ramps up ongoing F-35 production, he adds.